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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

West Ham recruit Tottenham's Davenport

West Ham's new signing Calum Davenport revealed he would not have left Tottenham for any other club.

Spurs head coach Martin Jol made it clear he did not want the 24-year-old, who has been deputising this season for Ledley King, to leave White Hart Lane.

But as soon as the Hammers made contact Davenport knew he wanted to return to Upton Park, where he spent three months on loan in 2004.

Davenport has signed a contract through to 2010 and is set to go straight into the West Ham squad for Saturday's trip to Newcastle.

He said: 'Martin Jol said he wanted me to stay but my heart was set on coming to West Ham. He knows how much West Ham mean to me after my time here on loan and luckily he agreed to let me come.

'I am delighted to be back. When I moved from Coventry down to London, the first place I came to was West Ham and they made me feel at home.

'It was a big move for me at the time and I love playing at Upton Park. It is such a passionate crowd and I wouldn't have joined any other club bar West Ham.'

Davenport was signed by Spurs in 2004 and after loan spells with West Ham, Southampton and Norwich he finally began to make a mark this season.

But King's imminent return to fitness would have relegated him back onto the bench and he wanted the chance to play regular first-team football - even if it means being plunged straight into a relegation dogfight.

Davenport explained: 'I have been happy with my form this season but my decision was - do I want to be sat on the bench or do I want to come to West Ham and help them stay in the Premiership?

'West Ham's position might have put other players off, but not me. They are in a difficult position but I want to play my part and help them get out of it.'

Manager Alan Curbishley moved quickly to bolster his defensive ranks after losing both Danny Gabbidon and James Collins to injury during the 3-3 draw with Fulham at the weekend.

Davenport follows Luis Boa Morte and Nigel Quashie into the club but Curbishley has had not had much luck on the transfer front.

Birmingham rejected a £4million offer for their England defender Matthew Upson while Watford's versatile forward Ashley Young rejected a move to Upton Park.

The Hammers, though, are believed to still be in the hunt for Blackburn defender Lucas Neill, who has also been targeted by Liverpool.

But West Ham, bankrolled by new owner Eggert Magnusson, are now in a position to offer enticing wages.

Curbishley has already spent nearly £10million this month and said: 'It has been a really hectic time.

'Every day has been full on. The chairman is backing everything we are trying to do. The people in charge have the right intentions and there is no thought about going down.

'It is all geared to being in the Premiership next year. I am under no pressure to let people go. It is all about strengthening.

'This is the most money I have ever spent in one season. It is the situation we find ourselves in.'

Curbishley insisted he was not being held to ransom by clubs who know how desperate West Ham are to strengthen.

'It is normal for this time of the year. I don't think I've paid over the odds,' he said.